Information for Reviewer

Consort Statement—Checklist of information to include when reporting a randomised trial
STROBE Statement—Checklist of items that should be included in reports of observational studies

1. An unpublished manuscript is a privileged document. Please protect it from any form of exploitation. Don’t cite a manuscript or refer to the work it describes before it has been published and don’t use the information that it contains for the advancement of your own research or in discussions with colleagues.

2. Adopt a positive, impartial attitude toward the manuscript under review, with the aim of promoting effective and accurate scientific communication. If you believe that you cannot judge a given article impartially, please return it immediately to the editor.

3. Reviews must be completed by the date stipulated on the review form. If you know that you cannot finish the review within that time, immediately return the manuscript to the editor. If possible, provide the names and addresses of two reviewers who are competent to handle the subject matter.

4. Consider the following aspects while reviewing the manuscript:-
    a. Significance of research question or subject studied.
    b. Originality of work.
    c. Appropriateness of approach or experimental design.
    d. Adequacy of experimental techniques.
    e. Soundness of conclusions and interpretation.
    f. Relevance of discussion
    g. Soundness of organization.
    h. Adherence to style as set forth in instructions to authors.
    i. Adequacy of title and abstract.
    j. Appropriateness of figures and tables.
    k. Length of article.
    l. Adherence to correct nomenclature (genetic, enzyme, drug, biochemical etc).
    m. Appropriate literature citations.

5. Any corrections, if required, may be marked on the copy of the article provided.

6. Please point out any unnecessary illustrations and data that are presented in both tabular (and graphic) form and in detail in the text. Such redundancies are a waste of space and reader’s time.

7. A significant number of authors have not learnt how to organize data and will benefit from your guidance.

8. Do not discuss the paper with its authors.

9. In your comments intended for the author, please do not make any statement about the acceptability of the paper. Present criticism dispassionately and avoid offensive remarks.

10. Confidential remarks directed to the editor should be typed (or handwritten) on a separate sheet and not on the review form. You might want to distinguish between revisions considered essential and those judged merely desirable.

11. Your criticisms, arguments and suggestions concerning the paper will be useful to the editor and to the author if they are carefully documented. Do not make dogmatic, dismissive statements, particularly about the novelty of work. Please substantiate your statements.

12. Reviewer’s recommendations are gratefully received by the editor. However, since editorial decisions are usually based on evaluations derived from several sources, reviewers should not expect the editor to honor every recommendation.

13. Categories of recommendation: accept, reject, modify, or convert to some other form. Very few papers qualify for “accept” upon original submission for publication except for minor style changes.

14. Keep a copy of the review in your files. The manuscript may be returned to you for a second review. You might require this copy to evaluate the author’s responses to your criticisms.

15. Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal (PAFMJ) has a double-blind review policy. After plagiarism-checking, initial manuscript screening is done by the editorial team. Then manuscript is sent to the statistician and two subject specialists for peer-review. Initially, four weeks’ timeline is given and if manuscript is not reviewed within the timeline further two weeks are extended.

How long does the review process take?
The time required for the first round of the review process is dependent on the response of the reviewers. The manuscript with the Editor’s decision is sent to the author with recommendations made by the reviewers, which usually includes verbatim comments by the reviewers. The revised article is than subjected to more review rounds before finalizing the decision with amendments.

Editor’s Decision is final
Reviewers advise the editor, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article